Home URBAN New ESSENCE Study Reveals Insights On Media Portrayals Of Black Women

New ESSENCE Study Reveals Insights On Media Portrayals Of Black Women


black and brown womenFrom primetime television to , African-American women consume more media than any other comparison groups, and today, there is more mass and targeted content featuring African-American women than ever before. Still, in a 2010 -commissioned study on the State of African American Women, it was revealed that 93 percent of media does only an ‘okay’ to ‘poor’ job of reflecting the audience the way they see themselves.

This year, Essence commissioned New York-based research firm Added Value Cheskin to bring more attention and definition to these findings with the proprietary study, Understanding Images of African-American Women in Society.

After dedicating ten days to recording the images they viewed on the Internet, television and other media, participants in the independent survey revealed a range of responses, including feeling ‘saddened’ and ‘disrespected’. During the first phase, the research firm conducted interviews with experts on the subject matter from academia, finance, and entertainment. ethnographies were central to the second phase in which online communities were created based on life stage and gender. Through innovative visual diaries, participants shared their unrestricted reactions to wide-ranging images of African-American women across all media types. In a moderated forum, community members also had the opportunity to respond to visual images curated by fellow members. The final phase was a quantitative study that included 900 Black women, ages 18-54.

Consistently, Black women see and acknowledge many inspiring images of , from to Beyonce. However, the study establishes there is a dearth of that reflects relatable images of everyday Black women. The key findings were more pronounced among younger Black women who are at once more culturally open and more culturally affiliated. Additionally, a new lens on beauty led a set of emerging typologies that the audience would like to see more often in media.

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Hassahn is no stranger to the power of words. Just as Lebron took his talents to South Beach, the Chicago native has taken his talents to Hollywood and beyond. His ability to manipulate the English language has led to a career using his gift. He currently writes songs for TV/Film; he has co-written a book alongside Dr. Kerby T Alvy Ph.D; Hassahn produced and wrote DEMOs documentary film, and of course he scribes for Radio Facts on the daily.

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